The Victorian Government responded to community concerns about the impacts of timber harvesting on the environment and in 2019 announced the Victorian Forestry Plan which contained immediate protections for the iconic Greater Glider species and native fauna and an end to logging of old growth forests.

Under the plan, it is estimated that around 90,000 hectares of old growth forests (supported by modelling) located outside of formal reserves and protection areas would be protected immediately and timber harvesting in all state forests is to cease by 2030.

The announcement included the release of the Greater Glider Action Statement (PDF, 1.8 MB) to protect the future of the Greater Glider. The Action Statement signals the immediate protection of more than 96,000 hectares of forest (Immediate Protection Areas) across Victoria which would be immediately exempt from logging.

These measures will assist the protection of the Greater Glider, Leadbeater Possum and more than 35 other threatened species.

Landscape of trees

The proposed immediate protection area boundaries proposed on 7 November 2019 under the Victorian Forestry Plan were updated on 21 November 2019. Detail about the immediate protection areas can be found here.

The announcement consolidated other earlier protections including a Statewide Protection for Large Trees Policy and the Kuark Immediate Protection Area and built on other measures which included environmental compliance officers and the Forest Protection Survey Program.

Further information on each of these is provided in the dropdowns below.

Should you require an accessible version of any of these documents, please contact the DELWP Customer Service Centre or on 136186.

The Victorian Government has invested an additional $30.3 million through the 2017-18 State budget to strengthen environmental compliance. DELWP has employed 25 extra compliance officers and 6 staff members to support intelligence and data management.

More cases are being closed and the additional capacity means DELWP can quickly respond to any community concerns, including about timber harvesting.

DELWP will now undertake more pre-harvest surveys in timber harvesting areas, with 80% of coupes to be surveyed under this new program.  100% of coupes will undergo a desk top assessment, including the use of species distribution models, to identify the 80% for field surveying.  This new approach shows a clear separation between DELWPs role as the environmental regulator, and VicForests role as a timber harvesting body.

Building on existing protections for threatened species

This program will build on existing protections for threatened species, and will ensure the right measures are in place to protect our valuable plants and animals. It will also provide greater operational certainty to VicForests.

This pre-harvest survey program will build our information base on species, providing the basis to improve our forest management systems including our forest management planning and regulatory frameworks.

The pre-harvest survey program commenced in mid-2018, following a scientific review of survey standards.

Find more information, program updates and survey outcomes.

Page last updated: 01/04/20